Rwanda: Kagame Names His Picks for Senate

20 September 2019

President Paul Kagame has named Dr. Augustin Iyamuremye, Espérance Nyirasafari, François Habiyakare and Alvera Mukabaramba as his Senate choices.

They will serve in the Upper Chamber for the next five-year tern, renewable once.

Iyamuremye was a Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 until March 2000. He has also served as the Minister of Information. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Until his appointment, he was the Chairperson of Rwanda Elders Advisory Forum (REAF). He has also previously served as a Senate.

Nyirasafari has been serving as the Minister of Sports and Culture, a position she has held since October 2018. Before that, she served as the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion.

Until her appointment, Mukabaramba, has been serving as the Minister of State for Local Government Responsible for Social Affairs. She took on this position in 2011.

Habiyakare has been serving as the president of the Board of Commissioners of the Public Service Commission.

According to the constitution, Kagame is mandated to appoint eight of the 26 Senators. He is expected to appoint another four Senators next year when four of those he previously sent to the Senate complete their mandate.

According to the constitution, the President appoints Senators with particular consideration to the principles of national unity, the representation of historically marginalised groups and any other national interest.

Unlike the ones who have been voted into office, Senators appointed by the President of the Republic are not subject to approval by the Supreme Court.

Friday's appointments bring the exercise to choose Senate representatives to an end. Electoral colleges have since Monday been voting for the other 16 Senators after nearly two months of campaigns.

Of the 16 elected senators, one is from the City of Kigali, two come from the Northern Province, while each of the other three provinces picked three senators.

Two other Senators were picked from public and private institutions and another two from the National Consultative Forum of Political Organizations.

The Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission, (NEC) Charles Munyaneza, told The New Times that, overall, the preparations and turn-up was good.

"We are satisfied. The elections attracted many people in terms of candidates and this is a great indication that Rwandans are understanding how these parliamentary chambers work and they are gaining more confidence to join," he said.

Tom Mulisa, a lecturer of constitutional law at the University of Rwanda, says the country benefits from the richness, experience and diversity of the Senators.

"The Senate has the principle role of safeguarding national values and unity of Rwandans. The diversity brings on board the richness to address complex issues. They monitor the fundamental principles of the constitution which serve as the foundation for Rwanda democracy," he said.

Unlike the lower chamber of parliament, the Senate is not dissolved. This means that the sitting Senators will complete their mandate as the new ones join, to allow continuity.

List of new Senators

Adrie Umuhire

Innocent Nkurunziza

Pelagie Uwera

Marie-Rose Mureshyankwano

Emmanuel Havugimana

Lambert Dushimimana

John-Bonds Bideri

Fulgence Nsengiyumva

Georges Mupenzi

Faustin Habineza

Laetitia Nyinawamwiza

William Ntidendereza

Cyprien Niyomugabo

Ephraim Kanyarukiga

Nkusi Juvenal

Salama Uwamurera

Augustin Iyamuremye

Espérance Nyirasafari

François Habiyakare

Alvera Mukabaramba

The list of Senator remaining

Chrysologue Karangwa

Margaret Nyagahura

Consolee Uwimana

Zephry Karimba

Jean D'arc Mukakalisa

Charles Uyisenga

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